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Could vs Might Options
Atatürk
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 12:53:53 PM

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Which of the modalds is less certain when talking about possibility, might or could?

Ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum!
BobShilling
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 1:31:10 PM
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Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic


The difference between then is not really one of degree of certainty.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, August 9, 2019 1:32:20 PM

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That's not an easy question.

They don't mean exactly the same thing - but I would say that "might" is more likely usually.

Something which could happen is possible by the laws of physics but isn't 100% - it doesn't express probability (except as "somewhere between 0.0001% and 99.99%"). It's the 'uncertain' form of "can", "able to".

I could answer your question fully - I will try to, but I may miss something so you have to ask another question.
It could rain today - but I don't think it will.
I could send you all my money - but I won't.


If something "might happen" there is some reasonable possibility - it depends on the circumstances.

I might see my friend John next week. That could be anywhere between 10% and 60% probability (or more).

They are often used interchangeably - It might rain, it could rain. In this sort of useage, I don't think there's really any difference.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
sureshot
Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 1:51:42 AM
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Drag0nspeaker wrote:


They are often used interchangeably - It might rain, it could rain. In this sort of usage, I don't think there's really any difference.


_______________

In some countries, in such sentences "might" denotes greater probability than "could".
Adyl Mouhei
Posted: Saturday, August 10, 2019 3:53:31 AM

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Personally, I think the biggest difference between them is the amount of emphasizing on the willingness of the subject.
It means 'could' illustrate the possibility of subject's willingness.
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